There is nothing but good and bad, right and wrong.
We find ourselves again, now as a more or less globalized society, in a time where talking about good and bad, right and wrong, is frowned upon. “Moralizing” is taken as an affront to personal freedom.
So forgive me, but I want to speak about what is right and what is wrong.
And I do not mean to tell you what is good and what is bad, but I have a hunch you might agree with what I say.
Do you agree that having something taken from you, without your offering it, is wrong?
It may seem obvious on the surface, so I want you to think about it.
Think about… you smartphone… your wallet or your purse… your bike or your car… the stuff in your home. Your home.
If you aren’t offering these, and they are taken from you… how would you feel? You’d feel wronged, wouldn’t you?
Think of your family. Your partner. Your child…
Your friends. Your community. Your neighborhood. Your town.
Your job. Your education.
What if these things were taken from you? How would you feel?
What if those who are taking them from you said “well you don’t really deserve them anyways…”
How would you feel?
Your dignity. Your choice. Your agency. Your mobility.
“Well, you don’t really deserve them anyways.”
Feels pretty wrong, doesn’t it? Evil even.
Let’s stay in the darkness just a moment longer. Let’s add insult to injury.
What if these things were taken from you, not as you watch, but behind your back, snuck away, perhaps as you are distracted by something else. Something shiny. Purposefully shiny. Purposefully made to look like something good…
How would you feel?
Would you feel wronged?
Ok, I promised to pull out of the darkness. Let’s do that.
What is good?
Can we agree that not having things taken from us is good? It’s a start anyways, right?
Not being tricked, deceived… also good, right?
Fresh air. A bright morning, a start to a day filled with possibility. A healthy body, and healthy mind full of energy and ideas, ready to explore those possibilities, with confidence and dignity.
Safety. Or at least no having to worry at every moment that something is being taken from you.
Your friends, your communities, your families, your partners, your children…
I imagine you’ll agree, these things encompass, broadly, what is bad and what is good.
Sorry, I am not done yet. We still need to look at the very special relationship between good and bad.
These things, that are good and bad, they do not simply exist on their own, separate. Nor are they in some sort natural balance. Far from it.
Anything taken without it being honestly and openly offered, cannot ever be good. Because if it is not openly and honestly offered, and you take it, then you have wronged those you’ve taken it from.
Because something not offered is needed where it is. Taking it would damage the integrity of its situation, at least to a degree to which that situation is not able to reconcile the loss.
Sorry, that’s an abstract way of saying that taking something without awareness of the cost of taking it, is bad. Acting without regard for others, is bad, because it says “well you don’t deserve it anyways.”
That is all.
I leave you with one last thought.
What if, instead of taking, we give?
Have a nice day.